A Spanish woman who claimed that a police officer had pushed her and fractured her arm has been cleared of lying after a magistrate found that the case had not been proven as required by law. 

Magistrate Joseph Mifsud, however, found her guilty of being noisy and let her off with a slap on the wrist. 

The magistrate was critical of the way the prosecution handled the case, saying the entire story was "a storm in a teacup" and the prosecution should have examined the facts of the case before "hastily" taking the woman to court. 

He was ruling on a criminal case filed against 49-year-old Swieqi resident Yinette Consuelo Guaquirian Pedrique, who was accused of filing a false report at the police depot in Floriana on June 22 and of accusing a police officer of a crime she knew had not taken place, causing a disturbance outside the passport office on June 15, disobeying police orders and preventing the police officer from carrying out his duties.

Magistrate Mifsud said the court was not convinced that Ms Pedrique had the criminal intent to falsely accused the officer of a crime. He said she did not understand the Maltese language and barely spoke any English, so the court believes that she was confused during the incident. 

The incident had taken place on June 15 when the woman tried skipping the queue because of a medical condition affecting her eye and could not stand in the sun. 

The court heard Police Constable Anthony Theuma explain how he had used minimal force even though the woman was being violent. His version was corroborated by other employees who witnessed the incident and confirmed the woman moved backwards and tripped over a low parking barrier.

Criminal action was taken against the woman after closed circuit television footage revealed that she had not been pushed.

Magistrate Mifsud said the issue, which he described as "a storm in the teacup", should not have reached court, given the circumstances. He also took the opportunity to criticise the fact that PC Theuma was working that morning after having already worked a 12-hour shift. He also suggested that Identity Malta drafts a multi-lingual brochure on its services and also introduces a proper dress code after the court saw CCTV footage with employees in shorts. 

As he cleared Ms Pedrique of the charges brought against her, he let her off with a reprimand for being noisy. 

Police inspector Justin Camilleri prosecuted while Judge Philip Sciberras and lawyers Andrew Sciberras and Lara Dimitrijevic appeared for the woman.

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